Valentina’s Lullaby

The term lullaby is, again, used loosely. I understand my writing style to be a bunch of disjointed ideas crammed into a 3 minute piece. I play these ideas enough times that they grow on me and I eventually like the songs I write. However, without it being crammed down the throats of an audience they may come across as boring and confused.

This lullaby is for my second daughter, Valentina.

I’m sure every parent plans to give their second child the same exact experience and privileges as their first. Valentina (kid2) took such a different path than Carmela (kid1), even before ripening to 40 weeks, so that idea seems off the mark. To say that I wrote Valentina a lullaby because I wrote Carmela a lullaby 4 years ago isn’t true. I wrote them both a lullaby because I like any excuse to write a song and hope that some day they’ll enjoy listening to it.

For Carmela I created an entire Flickr set for each week of her entire first year on earth. She was born in May, a very comfortable photography month, and I had little else to do at times than take these pictures. Valentina came as mother nature locked us indoors with frigid weather, then dumped 5 feet of snow over 2 weeks to make sure natural-light photography was off limits until spring. Valentina won’t get a Flickr set for every week of her first year, but she’ll have an nauseating amount of photos taken of her for as long as I’m alive. My life has changed a lot in the past 4 years and there’s no reason to go back to force the same experiences.

The song came together quick from a theme I played with a few months ago. I came close to keeping it very simple, or, an actual lullaby, but it made me uncomfortable to play an entire song on only white notes. Time-signatures are thrown around in an un-lullaby kind of way. At some times it’s intentional in a prog-rock type of way. At other times it sounds accidental in a Nick Drake type of way.

Tempo is also abused to the point that a notation of “with feeling” can’t cover it up. However, there’s a good excuse. I wanted Carmela in the video which wasn’t easy. At first she wanted to dance, which went well at first, but after a minute her energetic moves included banging on the piano. It did not compliment the piece well. She eventually agreed to watch the iPad in the corner quietly which I took at the best possible solution. The background noise was just background noise until a theme song played and I fought against matching the tempo of the iPad. Normally I would just re-record the song but I felt the fact that Carmela moved from the carpet to the chair, and the cute interaction that followed, could never be re-created. The faults in the recording are small in comparison.

One Comment

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  1. Jason this is so beautiful. You are blessed with a wonderful talent and two precious daughters. Your lullaby will be a treasure to your daughters.

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